Who is Max Verstappen? Red Bull’s F1 overtaking king drawing in the crowds at the age of 19


Max Power

Max Verstappen has gained a reputation for overtaking the entire field in races – here’s everything we know about him

LEWIS HAMILTON and Sebastian Vettel are setting the early standard in the F1 season, but Max Verstappen is proving just as much of a crowd favourite.

The Dutch youngster has wowed fans of the sport with a series of fearless displays on the track.

Max Verstappen smiles after a third-place finish at the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen smiles after a third-place finish at the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix

Here is everything you need to know about the Red Bull driver who has made overtaking the entire field something of a trademark.

Who is Max Verstappen and where does he come from?

Max Verstappen was born in 1997 in Hasselt, Belgium, to a Dutch father and a Belgian mother.

His dad, Jos ‘The Boss’ Verstappen, enjoyed a nine-year F1 career, racing with the likes of Benetton, Stewart and Minardi.

On the other side of his family, Verstappen’s mum competed in karting while his uncle is currently a  NASCAR Whelen Euro Series driver.

Max Verstappen has opted to drive under the Dutch flag, claiming he “feels more Dutch” and adding that his hometown lied on the border with Holland and was predominantly inhabited by Dutch people.

When did Max Verstappen start racing?

Max Verstappen began karting at the age of just four.

In 2006 he won the Belgian Minimax Championship, followed by the Dutch Minimax Championship a year later.

He drove in the European Formula Three Championship in 2014, before joining Red Bull’s junior team.

Max Verstappen leads Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas in Shanghai

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Max Verstappen leads Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas in Shanghai

And in the same year, he took part in the first free practice of the Japanese Grand Prix, becoming the youngest driver to participate in an F1 race weekend.

In 2015, he made his F1 race debut with Toro Rosso at the Australian Grand Prix.

And midway through last season he was promoted to Red Bull, with Daniil Kvyat moving the other way to Toro Rosso.

What have been Max Verstappen’s most memorable F1 performances?

Verstappen won the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix on his debut with Red Bull, making him the youngest ever race winner and the first ever Dutch winner in F1.

In the penultimate race of 2016 in Brazil, he was in 16th place with just 15 laps remaining, but with a series of brilliant overtaking moves, managed to finish 3rd.

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner called it “one of the best drives I’ve seen in Formula One”.

And at the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix, Verstappen started in 19th place and worked his way up to 3rd.




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